The Socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, on Sunday announced plans to run for president in next year’s election, joining a growing list of challengers to centrist incumbent Emmanuel Macron, AFP reports.
Speaking in the northwestern city of Rouen, Hidalgo, who has been mayor of Paris since 2014 said: “I have decided to be a candidate for the presidency of the French Republic.”
The 62-year-old daughter of Spanish immigrants, who fled Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, is the hot favorite to win the nomination of the Socialist party.
Hidalgo chose Rouen, which is also run by a Socialist, for her announcement to try establish a foothold outside of Paris.
She credited her rise from humble beginnings in a housing estate – her father was an electrician and her mother a seamstress – as testament of the power of the French Republic to help children overcome “class prejudice”.
Warning of growing inequality, she said: “the Republican model is disintegrating before our eyes” and added: “I want all children in France to have the same opportunities I had.”
Polls currently show Hidalgo would garner only seven to nine percent in the first round of voting for president in April if picked to represent the Socialists.